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New catalogue to to explore riches of National Gallery of Scotland’s collection of English drawings

The rich and diverse collection of English drawings and watercolours in the National Gallery of Scotland will be the subject of a beautifully designed and generously illustrated catalogue, to be published this summer. Featuring outstanding examples of work by the most celebrated British artists, such as William Blake, J.M.W. Turner and Thomas Gainsborough, the collection is surprisingly little known; this landmark catalogue will for the first time make its full scope and importance clear. English Drawings and Watercolours 1600-1900 – the first in a new series of authoritative and scholarly catalogues about the Scottish national collection – will become a key reference work for a wide range of enthusiasts for British art, including art historians, students, collectors, dealers, artists and picture researchers.
Broad in scope, the collection of more than 2,000 works covered by the catalogue ranges in date from the art of the Stuart court in the early seventeenth century to the late Victorian period – from Inigo Jones and Sir Peter Lely to Burne Jones and Lord Leighton. Highlights include important works by artists such as John Sell Cotman, John Robert Cozens, John Flaxman, Thomas Girtin, Edward Lear, John Frederick Lewis and Paul Sandby.
Some 450 works will be reproduced in colour, and many have never previously been published. Each work will have a catalogue entry, considering in detail issues such as subject, date, function, condition and provenance, and there will be biographies of the 250 artists represented. In addition, the introduction will feature a detailed history of this part of the Gallery’s collection, which focuses on the benefactors and collectors who shaped it.
English Drawings and Watercolours 1600-1900 has been written by Christopher Baker, Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Scotland. It will run to 464 pages, and will be hardbound.
Speaking of the publication, John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland said, ‘English Drawings 1600-1900 will consider in great depth a key aspect of the Gallery’s outstanding holdings of British art; our hope is that it will assist students, researchers and enthusiasts, and inspire many future visits to study and enjoy the collections in Edinburgh.’
The catalogue can now be ordered at a special pre-publication price of £95 (for details see below). From August 2011 the full retail price will be £125.
To coincide with the publication of the catalogue a special exhibition of some thirty 18th and 19th works will be on show in London this summer. Masterpieces of English Watercolours and Drawings from the National Gallery of Scotland will be at Lowell Libson Ltd, from 23 June until 14 July. The exhibition will include major landscapes and figure subjects by Turner, Girtin, Cotman, Gainsborough, John Constable, Sandby, Samuel Palmer and Richard Dadd. Highlights will include William Blake’s magnificent God Writing upon the Tables of the Covenant (c.1805), and John Robert Cozens’ beautiful and evocative view of The Colosseum from the North (1780). The exhibition will take place during Master Drawings Week London, an annual gathering of scholars, curators, collectors and dealers, from 1 to 8 July 2011.

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